Cryptic female choice favours sperm from major histocompatibility complex-dissimilar males
2013 (English)In: Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Biological Sciences, ISSN 0962-8452, E-ISSN 1471-2954, Vol. 280, no 1769Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Cryptic female choice may enable polyandrous females to avoid inbreedingor bias offspring variability at key loci after mating. However, the role ofthese genetic benefits in cryptic female choice remains poorly understood.Female red junglefowl, Gallus gallus, bias sperm use in favour of unrelatedmales. Here, we experimentally investigate whether this bias is driven byrelatedness per se, or by similarity at the major histocompatibility complex(MHC), genes central to vertebrate acquired immunity, where polymorphismis critical to an individual’s ability to combat pathogens. Throughexperimentally controlled natural matings, we confirm that selection againstrelated males’ sperm occurs within the female reproductive tract but demonstratethat this is more accurately predicted by MHC similarity: controllingfor relatedness per se, more sperm reached the eggs when partners wereMHC-dissimilar. Importantly, this effect appeared largely owing to similarityat a single MHC locus (class I minor). Further, the effect of MHCsimilarity was lost following artificial insemination, suggesting that malephenotypic cues might be required for females to select sperm differentially.These results indicate that postmating mechanisms that reduce inbreedingmay do so as a consequence of more specific strategies of cryptic femalechoice promoting MHC diversity in offspring.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
The Royal Society Publishing , 2013. Vol. 280, no 1769
genetic relatedness, major histocompatibility complex, postcopulatory sexual selection, sperm choice
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-97991DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.1296OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-97991DiVA: diva2:650903